After being a part of Blogchatter e- book carnival 2020, ‘My Village My Country’ has been shifted to Amazon. This book is a compilation of all the articles I wrote for the Blogchatter A to Z blogging challenge. April is the month when Indian blog aggregator site Blogchatter organizes AtoZ blogging challenge. Barring the Sundays, every day one has to write a blog post, starting with a topic related to alphabet A, then B and so on. There should also be a central theme for the all the posts.
I had not planned to participate in the challenge. It happened due to a series of happy coincidences while I was already working to finish the remaining two parts of my Bhagavad Gita trilogy. Since I was already preoccupied with finishing my Gita project, I did not take any interest in participating till the last day when it occurred to me that this could be an opportunity to share my views on some of the issues which are close to my heart and yet I had been procrastinating to put them to words. A post a day is also a good way to get back the discipline needed to write regularly. Of course the lock down too was an added incentive.
My theme this year was mera gaon mera desh whose literal translation I have used as the title of this book. It is very difficult to capture the essence of India through 26 articles. It is such a vast country geographically, historically, culturally and in terms of diversity. So I chose to write about things that I have had a personal connection with.
Thus in addition to articles that have a pan Indian connection, there are articles about the places I have been closely associated with. There are a number of articles about my native state Odisha. There are exclusive articles about my native village and the small town where I spent most part of my childhood. Even though these places cannot be considered to be representatives of all aspects of India, one can see the similar elements of these places with the small towns and villages of other parts of India. Anyone in any part of India who was brought up in the villages in the 1970s can relate to my childhood spent in my native village.
Even though there are some articles about various localities and local topics, the majority of topics are about the broader aspects of India. The topics I have touched upon are very close to my heart and I have written on them out of my firsthand experience. Having been a regular soldier, educational trainer and yoga teacher, I have travelled and stayed in all parts of India exploring India’s vast wealth of landscapes, land marks, cuisines, cultural roots and spiritual practices. I have chosen topics related to my own experiences and you will find these personal touches everywhere. At the same time also I have tried to include other points of view on the subjective issues I have written about.
Western authors love to portray India as a land of snake charmers. Westernized Indian authors bank on India’s filth and poverty to book their international awards. While his countrymen were looting this land, Charles Dickens thought that the people of India were so uncivilized that they did not deserve to live. Churchill often referred to Indians as ‘those primitive people’. All of them conveniently forgot that when expressions were being given to the highest mystic experiences here in India in the form of Upanishads and the highest forms of science related to human body and mind were being perfected here, monkeys and bears ruled their land.
Come and travel into the heart of India through my first hand experiences. Have glimpse into the soul of India beyond her seemingly hundreds of surface frailties some of which are real and many just figments of imaginations thrust upon us by vested interests. You can get the book from this link.
Here are links to some reviews of the book:
https://chinmayeecreations.wordpress.com/2020/06/19/book-review-10-my-village-my-country/ (this link also contains the author interview)